Small Capacity Hard Drives

Small Capacity Hard DrivesJanuary 2018(Last Updated 12 January 2018)

The best hard drives with a modest amount of disk space to backup some cat photos
Compare top brands including Western Digital, Seagate and LaCie
Every week we rank the best external hard drives based on features, reviews and price
We compare: 916 External Hard Drive Models 13,800 External Hard Drive Reviews 5,480 External Hard Drive Prices
We compare:
916 External Hard Drive Models
13,800 External Hard Drive Reviews
5,480 External Hard Drive Prices
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#1

84

WDBWWM5000AWT-EESN 500GB

Western Digital WDBWWM5000AWT‑EESN 500GB

673 Reviews + 4 Awards
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£44.52

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500GB
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White
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150g
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May 2015
A bargain price but 3 year old 500GB external hard drive, with good features and a sensationally light 150g weight
#2

82

Maxtor M3 500GB

Seagate Maxtor M3 500GB

405 Reviews
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£50.00

Exlen Technology
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500GB
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Black
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141g
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Mar 2016
An impressive value for money but 2 year old 500GB external hard drive, with an spectacularly light 141g weight but only middle of the road features
#3

79

WD Elements Portable (500Gb)

Western Digital WD Elements Portable (500Gb)

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£66.75

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Amazon UK
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500GB
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Black
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230g
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Feb 2017
A very good value for money and fairly new 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#4

79

Canvio Ready 500GB

Toshiba Canvio Ready 500GB

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£37.96

Amazon UK
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500GB
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Black
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166.3g
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Aug 2015
A top-value and very popular 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#5

79

HD-PZFU3

Buffalo HD‑PZFU3

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£66.14

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Idealo UK
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500GB
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Black
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277g
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Feb 2016
An affordable but 2 year old 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#6

79

My Passport Ultra 500GB

Western Digital My Passport Ultra 500GB

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£47.50

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500GB
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White
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150g
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May 2015
An affordable but 3 year old 500GB external hard drive, with good features and a phenomenally light 150g weight
#7

79

Expansion Portable 500GB

Seagate Expansion Portable 500GB

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£38.98

Idealo UK
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500GB
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Black
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170g
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Feb 2015
An extremely cheap but 3 year old 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#8

78

Rugged Triple 500GB

LaCie Rugged Triple 500GB

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£79.99

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Idealo UK
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500GB
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Sand
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260g
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Feb 2016
An impressive value for money but 2 year old 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#9

78

Canvio Alu 3S

Toshiba Canvio Alu 3S

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£62.29

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Gameseek
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500GB
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Red
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180g
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Jan 2015
A top-value but 3 year old 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#10

78

G-Force3 500GB

Fantom Drives G‑Force3 500GB

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£37.39

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Amazon UK
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500GB
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Black
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1.1kg
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Feb 2015
An affordable but 3 year old 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#11

78

Storejet 2.5 M3 500Gb

Transcend Storejet 2.5 M3 500Gb

whatnext.pl - Highest Qualitybenchmark.pl - Very Profitabletechadvisor.co.uk - Best BuyPC Advisor.co.uk - Best Buy
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£44.95

Idealo UK
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500GB
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Tan
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204g
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Apr 2016
A stunningly good value for money but moderately out of date 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#12

77

Canvio Connect II 500GB

Toshiba Canvio Connect II 500GB

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£34.49

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500GB
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Gold
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165g
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Feb 2016
A bargain price and very popular 500GB external hard drive, but with only middle of the road features
#13

77

Canvio Basics 500GB

Toshiba Canvio Basics 500GB

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£29.99

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500GB
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Black
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230g
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Jan 2016
The cheapest small capacity hard drive on the market, but with only average features
#14

77

500GB Storejet 2.5

Transcend 500GB Storejet 2.5

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£43.49

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500GB
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Sand
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204g
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Sep 2015
An affordable but 2 year old 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#15

76

Blade 500GB USB 3.0 Slim External Hard Drive

Intenso Blade 500GB USB 3.0 Slim External Hard Drive

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£36.50

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500GB
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Black
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160g
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Sep 2015
A bargain price but slightly out of date 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#16

76

Stor.e Slim 500gb

Toshiba Stor.e Slim 500gb

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£36.50

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500GB
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Silver
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125g
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Sep 2015
An affordable but a little out of date 500GB external hard drive, with a light 125g weight but only middle of the road features
#17

76

WD Elements 500GB

Western Digital WD Elements 500GB

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£38.66

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500GB
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Black
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134g
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Sep 2015
A top-value but 2 year old 500GB external hard drive, with an amazingly light 134g weight but only middle of the road features
#18

76

HD720 500GB

A‑DATA HD720 500GB

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£75.91

Flubit Deals
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500GB
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Black
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211g
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Aug 2015
A bargain price but 2 year old 500GB external hard drive, with good features
#19

76

Canvio Alu 500GB

Toshiba Canvio Alu 500GB

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£38.99

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500GB
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Metallic
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180g
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Sep 2015
A bargain price but moderately out of date 500GB external hard drive, with only average features
#20

75

CY-SUC05SH1

Samsung CY‑SUC05SH1

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£49.99

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Amazon UK
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500GB
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Black
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140g
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Sep 2015
An astoundingly cheap but 2 year old 500GB external hard drive, with one of the lightest weights available but only middle of the road features

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Today's Best External Hard Drive Deals

5% Price Drop
{Buffalo HD-PNFU3
£104.98
Was £111 (14 days ago)
Hard Drive Capacity
3TB
USB Powered
Yes
Colour
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{Seagate Expansion External Hard Drive - 3 TB
£74.97
Was £80 (10 days ago)
Hard Drive Capacity
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USB Powered
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{Seagate STDR4000200 4TB
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Was £131 (30 days ago)
Hard Drive Capacity
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USB Powered
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{LaCie Porsche Design (8TB)
£179.04
Was £194 (12 days ago)
Hard Drive Capacity
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USB Powered
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{Seagate STEB2000200
£64.98
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Hard Drive Capacity
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USB Powered
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ADATA HD650 (1Tb)
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Western Digital WD Elements Desktop 3tb
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Transcend StoreJet 25H3 3TB
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Seagate Expansion Portable 500GB
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Western Digital My Passport 4TB
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QHow is the capacity of hard drives measures?
AModern external hard drives are measured in gigabytes (Gb), which equates to approximately 1,000 megabytes (Mb). A single mp3 takes up about 3-4Mb, while a single picture takes 1-2Mb. Larger capacity drives are measured in terrbytes (Tb), where 1Tb = 1,000Gb.
QWhat security is available for external hard drives?
AMost hard drives lack any serious security options - however some have password protection to only allow authorised access. This can be a software password, or an actual physical keypad on the drive itself. Heavier degrees of security are available - including biometric fingerprint scanners, which will only unlock the data to someone with authorised fingerprints.
QHow are external hard drives powered?
AMost external hard drives are powered via USB, meaning they can be plugged directly into the computer and used from there. However some very large/powerful drives need too much power for USB alone, and will also require am external power supply to function properly.

class="c2-anchor p2-h2" id="guide"

External Hard Drive Buying Guide

External hard drives are portable and used to backup files and data from your computer, so they’re safeguarded in case of accident or for retrieval at a later date. While Cloud-based backups are being used more and more for backups, external hard drives still have several important benefits compared to online backups:

  • Peace of mind: many people don’t 100% trust the Cloud yet, and having their data stored in some unknown, invisible server somewhere leaves them worried about the long-term safety of their data. External hard drives offer tangible, physical objects to safely backup your files, without having to rely on 3rd-party companies.
  • Backing up and restoring files is far faster, especially with newer models that use USB 3 for transferring data.
  • Data can be retrieved without needing a net connection, making them useful if travelling or if you find yourself somewhere without a solid net connection.
  • High-level security options - such as fingerprint scanners, palm vein scanners and number pads - offer vastly increased security and peace of mind when storing very important files. Moreover, there is the increased security of being able to physically lock away the hard drives away from prying eyes.
  • Finally, USB hard drives are still one of the best methods for quickly moving very large files between different computers. It is frequently easier (as long as the computers aren’t too far apart) to simply transfer the file to the drive, plug it in to the second computer, and transfer rather than having to deal with slower upload/download speeds from services such as Dropbox.
Resource ID 111

Capacity

The main important consideration when choosing an external hard drive is the capacity. This Is a measure of how much data the drive can hold, and is measured in gigabytes (Gb) or terrabytes (Tb) . A gigabyte is 1000 megabytes, and a terabyte is 1000 gigabytes. Our drives range from relatively small portable 120gig drives to enormous 5Tb drives, which can safely hold all the data from multiple machines at once. Generally speaking the higher the capacity the better, but it does depend on what you’re going to be backing up. If you only use your computer to store documents, low-res photos and the like, a 2-500 gig drive should be enough. On the other hand, large capacity drives are useful for storing RAW photos, video editing or Photoshop files.

Size & Portability

Hand in hand with the capacity of the drive is its size. Generally speaking, the larger the capacity of a drive, the bigger it is. Small-capacity drives are extremely portable, being no larger than a mobile phone, so can be transported very easily. On the other end of the scale, the very large capacity drives are not meant to be portable, and usually sit in or under your desk as a safe deposit for all your data. Portability and weight will only become a real issue when choosing the very high-capacity drives, but it is worth paying attention to if you plan on transporting the drive frequently.

Read/Write Speeds

Read & write speeds measure how quickly data can be written from & to the external hard drive. This is measures in bytes per second - the higher the speed, the faster large files (such as movies) will be transferred onto or from the drive. The read-write speeds are also affected by the USB version supported - USB 3.0 supported drives allow far higher transfer rates than USB 2 drives, so it is worth seeking out the newest drive you can for the fastest data transfer speeds.

Power

On the subject of USBs, external hard drives are powered by 2 main methods: via USB or externally power lead. Smaller drives will be powered via USB - this means that the same lead that transfers the data also powers the device. This means no battery, no extra leads, and they are far more portable. Larger drives may be so big and powerful that USB alone can’t provide enough power - in which case they may need an external power connection to properly function. This means that extra consideration has to be made for a spare power socket and the required leads - making them less use when on the go.

Resource ID 109

Extras

Finally, there are a wealth of extras that can be found in more advanced models of external hard drives. Some of these may only be useful in specific situations, and you will usually pay more for them, but the utility may well be worth the extra cost. Some examples of extra features include:

  • Integrated card reader: a built in card reader in the drive allows the device to also read/write to SD cards.
  • Fingerprint scanner: an optical fingerprint scanner drastically increases the security of your device, by meaning only specific fingerprints can unlock the device and access the files. For even greater security, a ‘palm vein’ scanner detects the blood pumping through the unique arrangement of veins in your hand, meaning that the scanner cannot be fooled by severed fingers - the owner has to be there in person and alive.
  • Ruggedized outer layer: for those who frequently take drives outdoors or in harsh conditions, a hefty rubber or metal basing protects the device from damage, keeping your files intact through even the worst conditions.